Getting serious about private practice necessarily involves producing a business plan that meets the demands of lenders, investors and most importantly, yourself. This document is a roadmap of your entrepreneurial future, thus it is necessary to thoroughly research your new venture before making the commitment.
What is the purpose of your business plan?
Clinic owners need to address proper business concerns like any other person or group entering private practice. If you need outside sources of funding, be prepared to offer detailed information to prospects about:
- Normal business operations.
- Why you think that your private practice will succeed in the long-term.
- Realistic financial projections based on your market research.
The business plan also serves as your main accountability document, especially in the crucial start-up phase of your practice. It allows you to evaluate performance against measurable short-term goals, so that you can make adjustments before things get out of control.
What to include in your business plan
1. Your vision of the private practice
- What part of physiotherapy will you specialize in?
- What will make your clinic unique / stand out over competitors?
- Why should patients choose your services and/or products?
2. Business management considerations
- Will you manage the practice on your own or will you seek professional help right from the start?
- Do you have management experience to draw from and can you reassure yourself, investors or lenders that you can grow the business?
3. Your primary market
Further to your vision statement, identify your specialization and determine if there is growing demand for what you will offer. Build a marketing strategy to gain market share and give patients a reason to call you in the future. This must include brand positioning, pricing, advertising and selling tactics suitable for physiotherapy clinics.
4. Cash flow projections
A. Income considerations
- Main income (e.g. cash sales, sales on credit)
- Tax refunds.
- Loans and grants.
- Capital investments
- Other sources of income.
- Cash purchases
- Payments via credit
- Employee wages, if any
- Tax considerations
- Rent, utilities
- Travel costs, especially for mobile services
- Financing and leasing charges
5. Long-term goals
Your first business plan should exude the enthusiasm you must have as you contemplate such a monumental move. However, it should also provide a solid, market-based rationale for turning the plan into reality.